The rumours of Sebastian Vettel’s possible resignation from Formula 1 are not new. For months there has been speculation about the four-time World Champion’s departure.
Two former Formula 1 magnates are now pouring more fuel into the fire. Bernie Ecclestone replies to “Sport Bild” when asked if Vettel will remain after 2020: “I wouldn’t bet my money on it …”.
“I’ve been missing his willingness to do everything to win lately.” says Mr E.
Vettel’s contract with Ferrari expires at the end of next season. And Ecclestone believes that the Scuderia has already found a worthy successor for Vettel in team-mate Leclerc.
“Young Charles Leclerc reminds me of Michael Schumacher,” he praises, and not for the first time, making such a comparison in the press.
“He also has this little bit of arrogance, and he thinks he’s better than the car. These two things connect Michael and Leclerc. That’s why Leclerc can become a big guy,” says Ecclestone. So no more room for Vettel at Ferrari? Ex-team boss Eddie Jordan, who predicts Top Gear:
“Vettel will retire at the end of 2020,” believes Eddie Jordan.
“He can’t go back to Red Bull because Max Verstappen would clean him up,” Jordan explains. The only hope according to the 71-year-old is Mercedes (strangely).
“If Mercedes stays in Formula 1, however, Vettel could get a place there – a consolation prize if you lose Lewis.”
For the 2021 season, the former team boss also predicts that Lewis Hamilton will switch to Ferrari to replace Vettel. The World Champion’s contract also expires at the end of 2020 – as does that of Max Verstappen. Theoretically, there could be a lot of movement in the driver market. Is Vettel the big loser in the end?
“As long as I am able to perform, age doesn’t matter. Hamilton is three years older than me,” the four-time world champion reminds the Swiss “Blick” and explains: “The pendulum swings very fast nowadays anyway.
“Then you have three good races and opinions change again. Everyone makes their own experiences,” he says in view of the rumours surrounding his resignation, calmly reassuring himself that he hadn’t yet thought “concretely” about ending his career. “But after more than twelve years [in Formula 1] you certainly think about what comes next,” says Vettel.
“It’s not good to go through life without a plan. Nobody knows whether it really is this plan,” explains the ex-champion and adds: “At the moment the order from Ferrari with the world championship title is clear. And we’re not there yet.”